Thursday, 29 May 2014

Use it!

Can I ask you a question? 

Do you use your vintage wares?

I use this and it's matching coffee and tea counterparts on a daily basis.

I ask you this because earlier this week I narrowly prevented my dear hubby from buying me a very expensive present.

Now yes, I can hear you laughing and thinking, "Why on earth would you prevent your husband buying you an expensive gift?"

The answer to that lies in the nature of the gift itself. He had shown me a very beautiful set of silver Art Nouveau buttons on Ebay and asked if I liked them. I answered honestly saying that they were very beautiful. 

The next day, on my return from food shopping, he was sitting at the computer and said "You did like these buttons, didn't you" 
"Yes." was my simple reply.
"Oh good, because I've bid on them."
I think at this point my face rather dropped, "How much?" I asked.
"£105." He replied.

"How much!!!!"

Well after picking myself up off  the floor his face did begin to look a little crestfallen. 
"Don't you want them?"

Well no, I didn't and certainly not at that price. Beautiful though the buttons were, they were buttons! I would never dare to use them at that price, so as they weren't usable, I most definitely didn't want them at any price. I explained this as gently as I could, but I could see he felt more than a little hurt by my reaction, but it's not as if we are rolling in money and to be honest we urgently need far more practical things, like a new kitchen. (Ours is ancient and dropping to bits!). 

He did see my point of view and crossed his fingers that he would be outbid, which thankfully he was with 5 seconds to go!

This brings me back to my initial question.

I love vintage homewares, but I see no point in them if I can't use them. 

I love old Durham Quilts and vintage cotton sheets and pillowcases, but they get used.

 I love vintage china and tea trays, but they get used.

I love vintage objects for the home, but I like to display and use them.

So over to you. Do you like your vintage items to have a practical use? Do you use your vintage wares?

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

String "Quilt" Patchwork Tutorial

As promised in my last post, here's how I used up some of my scraps to make this set of cushions for my granddaughter.

Sort out the scraps of fabric you are going to use and cut them into strips. They don't have to be uniform, the width doesn't matter, in fact using a variety of different widths is both interesting and enables you to use up a variety of sizes of scraps. You don't want the strips too wide however, I think a maximum of 2" is probably about right.

Begin with a piece of paper the size that you want your finished block to be. In true recycling fashion I used squares cut from an old Argos catalogue as the base of each of my blocks. 

Choose your first strip, one that will fit across your paper backing from corner to corner and lay it across the backing paper, right side up.

Choose a second strip (ensuring it is long enough to cover both sides of the backing paper) and place it right side down on top of the first strip. Machine stitch it to the first strip.

Fold back and iron it flat. Add another strip in the same way.

Agin fold it back and iron. In this case the whole of one side of the paper backing is covered. As the width of strips vary you may need to repeat this until the backing is covered.

Repeat on the opposite side of the first strip.

Repeat until the whole of the backing paper is covered. As you can see the strips really don't have to be uniform, I personally think that it looks better with a more random selection of widths.

Turn the whole thing over. (Ooops! As you can see my sewing is far from perfect, but it still seems to work ok, it's a very forgiving method.)

Line up a ruler with the side of the paper backing.

Use a rotary cutter to trim off the excess fabric.

Back view.

Front View

Turn to the back and tear off the paper backing.

Give it a final press with the iron.

Et Voila - Your first block!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, it is a brilliant way to reuse and recycle. If you have any questions please leave a comment and I will try and answer as best I can.

Linda xxx

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Use it up! String Quilt Cushions.

When my granddaughter Flic asked me to make a set of pink cushions for the window seats in her bedroom I immediately thought of a patchwork technique that I've wanted to try for some time - string quilting.

String quilting is a fabulous way of using up all those little scraps you just can't bear to part with. A quick google of "string quilts" on Google Images will throw up a whole raft of fantastic examples.

Now I'm a bit of an impatient sort of person and I am not sure I have the patience or the confidence to make a full quilt, so the idea of trying the technique to make cushions was very appealing. 

Using this technique also meant that I didn't have to go out and buy any fabric. Like most crafters I have numerous "scraps" of fabric that aren't really useable for any substantial project but just seem too good to throw away. As Flic wanted pink cushions I set about sorting through all the scraps till I had a large pile of fabrics with pink in them. 

The cushions were made by joining four blocks of string patches together and then bordering them with some fabric from an old dress and adding a pink gingham square to each corner. I just made simple envelope style backs using fabric salvaged from an old duvet cover.

Result - 
Four pretty cushion covers made entirely from recycled bits and pieces and one very happy granddaughter!

Later in the week I will do a tutorial to show how I constructed the blocks.

See you soon.

Linda x

Friday, 23 May 2014

The Phoenix Rises

The Phoenix. 
A symbol representing coming back and moving forward.

No excuses for being away.
I just was.

No justifications for taking so long.

The time is now right.

The embers in the Vintage Hearth have smouldered for long enough, it is time for the fire to reignight.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...